Delaware Farm Service Agency State Executive Director Robert E. Walls recently announced the Delaware FSA will conduct a four-week Conservation Reserve Program general sign-up beginning May 20 and ending on June 14.
"It continues to be our goal to ensure that we use CRP to address our most critical resource issues," said Walls. “In 2012, across the nation, many states including Delaware experienced the worst drought in 60 years. Among other benefits, CRP protected environmentally sensitive lands from erosion during the extensive drought. I expect there will be strong competition to enroll or re-enroll acres into CRP, so I urge Delaware's producers to maximize their environmental benefits and make sure their offers are cost-effective.”
In addition to erosion control, CRP provides significant water-quality benefits including reduced nutrients and sediment loadings and adverse consequences associated with floods, as well as expanded and enhanced wildlife habitat.
Currently, about 27 million acres are enrolled in CRP nationwide, including 6,474 acres in Delaware. CRP is a voluntary program available to agricultural producers to help them safeguard environmentally sensitive land by planting long-term, resource-conserving covers. Contracts on an estimated 3.3 million acres of CRP are set to expire Sept. 30, including 317 acres in Delaware. Producers with expiring contracts or producers with environmentally sensitive land are encouraged to evaluate their options under CRP.
Producers that are accepted in the sign-up can receive cost-share assistance for planting covers and receive an annual rental payment for the length of the contract (10-15 years). Producers also are encouraged to look into CRP’s other enrollment opportunities offered on a continuous, noncompetitive, sign-up basis. Continuous sign-ups often provide additional financial assistance. Those sign-up dates will be announced later.
For more information on CRP and other FSA programs, visit a local FSA county office or www.fsa.usda.gov.